/ intermittent fasting
been experimenting with it for 2 weeks (just starting the third) and I'm pleasantly surprised by the results, its not without its downsides but think i will stick with it for a while longer
wouldnt have said i have noticed any improvement in mental alertness (if anything the opposite) what i have noticed is a big improvement in body composition
How long are you going without food?
I really don't get this stuff - all 'proven' just like that. Sorry, wrong number. More effort, eat sensibly. How hard is that? If you put the same amount of suffering into exercise as into fasting then I'm sure you'd notice a difference.
i also must stop typing rubbish into t'internet when I should be working
not that long i started on the lean gains approach which is 16 hours of fasting each day (10pm til 2pm) with 3 meals in my feeding window. realistically its more like 17 hour fasting now. so far i have lost over an inch off my waist (looking noticeably leaner) in 2 weeks
I fast daily, usually 10pm until 6am (ish)
Eat less. do more.
trust me if you know anything about my training then you would know i do suffering.
I've been doing the 5:2 fasting diet, after seeing Dr Micheal Moselys program all about it. So about 2 months now.
I've had to take my belt in 4 notches and buy new jeans.
oh and you don't have to do consecutive days, i do Tuesdays and Saturdays
fair enough - actually my response wasn't directed at you (operator error on my part) but at all those looking for an easy way out. I've yet to find one and speaking as someone who's fond of a snack, I'd far rather put some effort in and look forward to something decent than nurse a grumbling tum for ages.
Says he who's just had a nice choccy bar, working on the premise that although I've been idle of late, i'm still in defecit from the OMM.
> I've been doing the 5:2 fasting diet, after seeing Dr Micheal Moselys program all about it. So about 2 months now.
> I've had to take my belt in 4 notches and buy new jeans.
> oh and you don't have to do consecutive days, i do Tuesdays and Saturdays
Me too but weekdays Monday wednesday - I like my weekend drink too much!
one thing which i have really noticed is even when things like chocolate are available i don't even crave them at all (packet of twix's have been sitting in the fridge for 2 weeks unopened, found them today). late night carbs were a weakness for me which has pretty much disappeared
Ive heard about this and want to give it a go.
A friend is doing the same thing and he says that you can have less than 600 calories on your fasting day. Is this correct or do you have to have nothing at all, apart from water?
But you will lose weight quickly at first. The hard bit comes in about three months time when you hit a patch where no amount of exercise / fasting will budge any more weight.
I really am not sure how fasting during the part of the day when you should really be eating is good for you. Personally I would have said it was better to eat your last meal at 4pm so that your body has time to break it down before you go to bed.
there are several different approaches to IF. Some people will fast for a full 24hr once a week, some people 2 24hr periods a week and some like me fast for 16hrs everyday. during my 16hrs i will take water and also BCAA if i'm exercising fasted
I'm trying out not eating sweet stuff, on the basis that I can eat anything else I like. I do eat some sweet stuff, as after all, there is very little to drink in a pub that is none alcoholic and sweet and I eat fruit, but I have tried to have no cakes, sweets, biscuits etc.
I've lost 10 pounds so far, and have eaten plenty of snacks and meals etc - I haven't stinted and have had wine, beer, crisps etc. I just don't ever want that much of those things though, whereas i could eat sweet stuff until the cows come home...
when i reach my goals i will modify my approach (increase feeding window probably)
"I really am not sure how fasting during the part of the day when you should really be eating is good for you. Personally I would have said it was better to eat your last meal at 4pm so that your body has time to break it down before you go to bed. "
from what i have read its actually the other way (people have reported problems with sleep) also many find that breakfast actually makes them hungry quicker (believed to be linked to higher cortisol levels in the morning)
So when you say fasting what do you actually mean? Not eating anything, or limited calories or something like that?
So is 5:2 fasting 5 days and eating normally 2 days? How do you get through the days? Surely if you do any exercise you'll be a)incredibly hungry and b) feel awful/faint and have a rubbish performance?
I find doing regular exercise nessecitates eating really regularly else I can't function!
Does it have an end point? And what happens when you stop fasting?
chances are when i reach the BF level i am aiming for I will modify my approach for longer term aims. for example intermittent fasting can improve insulin sensitivity which will make lean muscle gains easier
So now I am totally confused. Everything you see everywhere states that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and your reading material says you shouldn't bother? So where does the energy to cycle to work and then work through the morning come from?
whats wrong with your body using its fat stores to full your cycle to work, by not spiking your insulin levels first thing in the morning fat is good source of energy
A mate is doing this a swears by it. I don't get the science behind it, because sooner or later your body is going to reduce its metabolic rate to try and save some fuel for the fasting periods.Then what, fast 4 days?
Aside from that, my mate wants me to do it too. I said to him, no. I am 9.5st with a 28" waist. I am active all the time, if anything I want to eat more and put some weight on.
i was sceptical about it but having heard positive reports i decided to give it a go for myself and based to the first couple of weeks i'm impressed (weight isn't crashing which is surprising based on BF readings on callipers)
Thing is we all heard good reports about the Atkins. I'll happily be stood corrected, I just don't think that people have been doing it long enough for the true effects to kick in. Now it may be that nothing really happens and people in effect reduce their footprint on the world, call it self-enforced rationing. Which could well be a win-win for them and the planet...
Good luck to you. I find that if I don't eat immediately on getting up in the morning my head doesn't work and my body goeson strike. Whatever works for you...
Not sure about the "proven this, proven that nonsense". I'm pretty sure that all "diets" that lead to weight loss have been proven to work because calorie expenditure out is greater than calories in.
Which is why eat less, do more works.
The rest is just tricks to help with willpower (perhaps that last is a bit strong but, hey!)
thing i found with Atkins was a lot of people claiming to be doing it weren't they were fat salad dodgers using low carb as a way of eating crap.
Quite simply, because I would pass out somewhere around Levenshulme if I did and that is no place to pass out! :-) Even if I did make it to work, I would be desperately starving until lunchtime. As it is though, I find the 16 miles of cycling I do a day an appetite suppressant. As long as I get my three meals a day, I don't feel the need to snack, even if I am bored at work.
> Which is why eat less, do more works.
> The rest is just tricks to help with willpower (perhaps that last is a bit strong but, hey!)
Hahah. I wouldn't say my mate that did it was a fat salad dodger, but a lot were I will agree!
I won't be doing no diet thing, because I just seem to shed pounds when I ain't looking. It is bloody annoying. I try to keep myself at a steady weight. I think 10st would be ideal, but my body seems think 9.5st is my perfect equilibrium weight for what I do. On the plus side, it means I don't have much to carry vertically!
first 10 days were a bit of a struggle getting hungry in the morning (anyone who knows me on FB will know this) in reality the hunger was just a mental thing for the most part. my best velodrome training session was done last week (finished the fast 20 mins before training started with about 60g of carbs) and my energy levels were much better than on a more normal diet
I'm not sure, most of what I see (that isn't marketing) either says skipping breakfast or skipping carbs at breakfast is if anything good for you (assuming you then go off and sit at a desk rather than climb a mountain I assume).
Unfortunately I really like my coco-pops.
As for Atkins not being tried long term as someone else mentioned, it's a milder form of a strict ketogenic diet which has been used as a treatment for epilepsy since the 1920's, although has in rodent studies shown to have potential benefits for other illnesses affecting the brain too, including mental illnesses.
The main problems that come up from doing atkins or other low carb diets are people trying to avoid fat too and live on protein (which isn't good for you), or just eating complete crap (while you are supposed to eat a fair amount of fat it should be 'good fats' rather than going to mcdonalds and ordering a stack of cheese burgers without the bread on a daily basis as some people do).
I've heard a lot of good things about intermittent fasting, there's been a few studies recently saying it's surprisingly good for you (not just weight loss, but good for your heart and other stuff too) and worries about 'starvation mode' aren't applicable unless you've got a very low body fat % to begin with. There was also a program about it a couple of months ago but I can't remember what it was or what channel it was on, BBC or ITV I think?
It's certainly an interesting topic, mostly from trying to read about all this stuff I've learnt that we know surprisingly little about diet and how it affects our bodies.
Good on you for giving it a go.
I tried Calorie restriction many years ago, when the science was still new, I was on about 1800 calories a day for about 4 years and felt perfectly fine on it. Eating mostly white fish & meat, nuts and lots of vegetables. The idea being maximum nutrition for the lowest calorific value. I allowed myself calorie counted treats like beer and chocolate into that and kept an average weight of between 8.5 and 9 st. (my norm is around 9.5 - 10). The reason I gave up? Well I figure that all the effort to live an extra 15 years (watching every calorie, not drinking, thinking about food and how it would affect me) wasn't worth it if I wasn't having fun
One thing that would concern me would be what changes you're making long term to your body's fat storing habits.
I've never fasted or dieted, and I've kept a fairly high carb diet all my life. Within reason, my body pretty much just burns whatever I put in my mouth (any time I do find myself putting a little bit of weight on, a few months of intense cardio training will burn it off again). If I was to train my body to run on fat stores instead of regularly topped up glycogen stores, would I not likely teach my body to store fat for fuel when it gets the chance, thus meaning I'd have to calorie count forever more instead of relying on my ability to burn off excess food?
It didn't go into how exercise might affect the balance of normal/fasting days (5:2 respectively, as mentioned above), or how it might affect how much one could/should eat.
I got the impression that it probably applied more to people who lead a fairly sedentary life - but I expect the general theme of 'not eating too much when you don't need to' is good advice regardless.
I agree. Using food as recovery rather than fuel
3 weeks in and bf% is dropping nicely, strength is good and generally feeling pretty good. looks like i'm getting a 6 pack for xmas
Well done mate.
Hmmm....starting to wonder whether there is something in this fasting lark.
although i have seen faster progress with a low carb diet this way is much more muscle sparing (everything i have lost appears to be fat). i think if you looked at any of the individual measurements (weight, calliper readings, tape measurements, electronic bf% readings) it may appear slightly disappointing but when looked at as a whole its pretty impressive
That's why fasting 2 days a week easier. No calorie counting, just eat what you like the rest of the time. It seems to work for me and it isn't just about weight loss, it's the blood lipids, IGF-1 and glucose too.
Always known that breakfast does me no favours, so been trying the fasting malarky once a week lately but about to step it up.
More important to me than the actual statistics is the fact that you are clearly feeling good for it. Sign of a good eating plan.
From the programme they said that IGF1 (insulin growth hormone) was a marker for likely hood of certain disease such as cancer, heart disease etc.
Basically the deal with fasting is that the cells in your body exist in two different states depending on if food is plentiful or scarce. When food is plentiful then the cells divide, however, when food is scarce they repair themselves and levels of IGF1 fall.
The experiments shown in the programme suggested that you could significantly reduce IGF1 with eating 500 calories only on two days out of seven, with no restriction on the others.
All the main religions consider fasting to be v good for the mind and soul. As did the non-hedonistic ancient societies. Probably quite a lot of truth in it - it's unnatural to always have more food available than you actually need. Like sleep - isn't a limited amount of sleep supposed to be better for you than as much as you want.
insulin control is becoming a common idea of diets now.
> insulin control is becoming a common idea of diets now.
Exactly! I don't load up on carbs now and never feel my energy levels plummet. I cheated a bit on it and had saturdays as my loose eating habit days, fry up, curry, etc, but found after a few weeks I could have gone without the comfort type foods.
I've not tried it because I'm sort of OK with what I weigh now can't be arsed with a load of exercise for the sake of it, has to be something I enjoy.
I was the same weight for about 20 years and could stuff allsorst of shite into my face. Last 12 or so years though I've had two increases in weight which have taken me by stealth each about 1.5 stone each. Very strange, my son's doing the 5:2 and he thinks it's great and he's lost 3 - 4 stone over a year or so. He looks lots healthier, he was never massive though.
Yeah IF works and you can do it long term if you're a bodybuilder. A lot of bodybuilders use it for cutting, maintenance and bulking by just tweaking their calories. Good for asthetics but not for athletes or people trying to improve strength or endurance as performance will drop off over time. IF is just an eating schedule not a diet.
i train for power lifting as well as track cycling these days for me the aim is to drop that bit of fat that has slowly accumulated over the past few years before tweaking it towards performance (should mean i can compete in a slightly lower weight class)
> Yeah IF works and you can do it long term if you're a bodybuilder. A lot of bodybuilders use it for cutting, maintenance and bulking by just tweaking their calories. Good for asthetics but not for athletes or people trying to improve strength or endurance as performance will drop off over time. IF is just an eating schedule not a diet.
Can you sport any of these statements? I've found some evidence suggesting you are wrong: http://jp.physoc.org/content/early/2010/09/13/jphysiol.2010.196493.abstract?abspop=1&related-url...
Just personal experience and that of others. Training whilst fasted isn't everyone's bag. It is obviously different for everyone. I'd suggest experimenting and see for yourself.
Sounds like a sensible and practical application of IF. My personal experiences are that long term your lifting drops off and i found it difficult to train for a marathon in a fasted state. For progressive performance i found regular meals throughout the day was necessary.
> Can you sport any of these statements? I've found some evidence suggesting you are wrong: http://jp.physoc.org/content/early/2010/09/13/jphysiol.2010.196493.abstract?abspop=1&related-url...
Given this was a study on people eating a hyper-caloric fat-ruch diet I would say that they are at the wrong starting point and the study is not very helpful when considering a "good" diet
"Healthy male volunteers (18-25y) received a hyper-caloric (~+30% kcal/day) fat-rich (50% of kcal) diet for 6 weeks."
> "Healthy male volunteers (18-25y) received a hyper-caloric (~+30% kcal/day) fat-rich (50% of kcal) diet for 6 weeks."
The link was posted to simply counter the blanket statment that IF was "good for asthetics but not for athletes or people trying to improve strength or endurance as performance will drop off over time."
Man eats 5/7 of what he did and loses weight shock!
The science is simple. You're eating less. Similar gains gan be had by exercising more, or eating less calories every day. You don't need to fast all day or have fasting periods.
If it works for you, fine but anyone who trys to justify it with pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo is kidding themselves.
Really, how do you figure that out?
> Man eats 5/7 of what he did and loses weight shock!
> The science is simple. You're eating less. Similar gains gan be had by exercising more, or eating less calories every day. You don't need to fast all day or have fasting periods.
I tried fasting (600 calories) two days out of seven and eating what I wanted for the other five. I found it perfectly manageable and quite easy to do at work. Over 4 weeks there was a definite change in my body fat percentage, but then again I was training 6 day a week at the time, so I'd say the drop in fat was down to both.
I've read elsewhere that is some evidence that fasting provokes your body to start to use fat reserves and can help shifting excess timber to start with. But it also goes on to say that if you're going to do it then just skip breakfast as the time between your evening meal and the lunch is likely to be about 18 hours anyway.
No they're not
How did that 6 week study counter that? Show me a long term study or try training for 6-12 months on it and come back and give me your feedback.
> "...try training for 6-12 months on it and come back and give me your feedback."
I've followed an IF protocol for 5 years. If you search my historic posts you'll see evidence of this.
I've started to do this to try and lose a wee bit of weight. All seems common sense to me, eat less, don't put on weight! It is only day one and I'm about to go and make fairy cakes with my daughter....
This chap seems to be doing well on it:
All I can say is that 5:2 is working well for me so far and I don't really feel tired or hungry. I keep my fast days to days when I am in the office all day working rather than days when I am out and about. I feel far less stressed than I do on a more conventional diet, I am sleeping better and my digestion is now woeking properly (my senokot handbag is emptying nicely on a regular basis). I think I could probably keep this up indefinitely.
> I've followed an IF protocol for 5 years. If you search my historic posts you'll see evidence of this.
That tells me nothing. I haven't the time or the inclination to go through your previous posts. If you can't be arsed constructing an argument don't make one.
> That tells me nothing. I haven't the time or the inclination to go through your previous posts. If you can't be arsed constructing an argument don't make one.
You said "Show me a long term study or try training for 6-12 months on it and come back and give me your feedback." I tell you that I've been IF'ing for 5 years (with the implication that I would obviously have given up on it long ago if it didn't work for me). I only said to search past posts as verification of my claim.
My feedback is that I've been IF'ing for 5 years, I don't get hunger pangs - even on a 24 hr fast, I am stronger than ever (I keep records), and my BF is under 10%.
All right calm down! You sound irritable and hypogycemic to me. Lacking energy and concentration? (I'm joking)
If it's working for you and you're achieving your goals, all power to you. I put more importance on people's experience than vague scientific studies. There may be some but i have yet to hear of any top sports person or athlete who advocates IF.
> All right calm down! You sound irritable and hypogycemic to me. Lacking energy and concentration? (I'm joking)
> If it's working for you and you're achieving your goals, all power to you. I put more importance on people's experience than vague scientific studies. There may be some but i have yet to hear of any top sports person or athlete who advocates IF.
Trust me I am calm!
I am intriugued by counter-claims about IF because at first glance (from the perspective of conventional wisdom), it does seem like the thin end of an eating disorder.
I don't recall any long term studies about IF but am keen to hear of any because I'd hate to think I am doing myself damage.
There is quite a bit of research around fasting and athletics because of Muslim athletes and Ramadan - but IIRC they don't imbibe liquid in this time so I'm not sure how applicable these studies are to conventional fasting. Also, Ramadan is only one month.
IF is still gaining traction but I reckon it will follow in the footsteps of the paleo diet in to mainstream consciousness.
Correct. When I first saw someone make arguments about fasting and athletics based on Ramadan I thought that was mad. If guys are being really hardcore, they won't even swallow spit from sunrise to sunset. Combine that with training and perhaps hot weather and you cannot perform well (dehydration is quite well understood).
However, non-caloric fluids taken freely all day, and food intermittently (but freely when taken) is another scenario entirely. There are animal model studies that show benefits in terms of longevity and slowed aging, that go far beyond the benefits of calorie control. For athletic performance or strength I'm not sure where the animal studies point.
News flash: Humans are animals. And we're optimally adapted to survive with a variable food intake; hence we have fat cells that store surplus when we get it.
It's only in recent human history that we've:
a) adopted an agrarian society*
b) opened corner shops selling mars bars at all hours of the day.
* which wasn't a great success; the average height in places like Turkey fell from about 5'9" pre-agrarian to 5'5" agrarian, and it's only just recovering.
Observe the decline in average height from late paleolithic ('hunter-gatherer'), through mesolithic (some agrarian) and neolithic (agrarian).
Whilst the majority of food in a 'hunter-gatherer' society generaly comes from the gathering part, you can't always be sure of a food supply, hence the need to move around to follow the food sources. And yet they were better nourished than their agrarian descendents; a more varied diet vs a staple monoculture.
which IF plan are you running 5:2 ?
There was an article on this in the New Scientist a couple of weeks ago for anyone who wants an objective look at it.
I've skimmed all the replies to these posts, and can't see whether anyone has explained whether the 600 calories days are exercise adjusted? I.E, take in 1600, burn an extra 1000 (than you normally would by living/working etc) = 600?
Or it is only take in 600 and no exercise on those days?
Do you eat your last meal at 10pm or do you just make sure you don't eat after that?
I'm finding that after getting in from work, if I want a decent gym session, I'm not eating until 9:30pm, which is a tad late really.
I like the OPs idea of fasting 10pm until 2pm next day, and I think i'll give that a go.
Watch this (hopefully decreasing) space.
I think it's 600 and no exercise.
I don't know about this fasting stuff. It sounds like another diet fad to me. Knowing myself, it would probably just lead to me getting extremely hungry and then having some monster binge with anything I could find to make up for it. Does it not go against all the evidence, that when you leave out a meal, particularly breakfast, that you just start to crave food, particulary highly calorific ones?
If you fast after a gym session you'll not replenish the glycogen stores you used up in training, so it'll take longer before you're fit to train again.
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